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Alzheimer's disease and tetanus

October 23, 2017
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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There’s promising new research about a connection between Alzheimer’s disease and antibodies.

Researchers from the Universities of Dundee and Oxford combined the tetanus vaccine with a viral particle that normally affects cucumbers to create a vaccine to treat multiple chronic diseases. Their findings have been published in the journal npj Vaccines.

The vaccine, which can be used as a therapy or preventive measure, showed positive results for psoriasis and cat allergies and was shown to raise antibody levels thought to help stave off the progression of Alzheimer’s.

The vaccine works by stimulating the body to make antibodies against one of the body’s own proteins. By blocking that single protein, the chronic condition improves. For example, the protein Interleukin 17 needs to be active for psoriasis to progress. The vaccine stimulates the body to make antibodies against Interleukin 17 itself, therefore reducing the need for frequent and expensive injections.

“Our research shows that this technique works in mice and, importantly, our new vaccine technology shows that it is likely to be a more effective type of vaccine than existing ones in older people,” says lead researcher John Foerester, Dr.med, clinical senior lecuturer at Dundee’s School of Medicine, in a press release. “Since many patients with chronic conditions like psoriasis are elderly, this technology may work much better to obtain effective vaccines.”

The researchers are now looking to begin clinical testing of the vaccine and already have regulatory approval to begin testing in humans. 

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